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Resident Evil 2 Review

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My first review of 2019 is here and what better game to kick off the new year than Resident Evil 2!

The Great:

Graphics:

Capcom’s RE engine is badass. Resident Evil 2 is one of the best, if not THE best, looking horror game I’ve ever played. This game is beautiful. It has some of the best lighting effects I’ve ever seen on a console game. Volumetric fog and depth of field is done right here. Nothing is too blurry and I feel like it’s one of those rare games where, if I was gaming on PC, I would leave the depth of field on. The PS4 Pro version of the game ran flawlessly from beginning to end. I didn’t notice any frame drops and I’ve completed the game 5 times now. Zombies looks absolutely terrifying and it feels good to be killing them again over the shit enemies that Resident Evil 7 threw at me. The most terrifying, and good-looking, foe of them all has to be Mr. X. I’ll get more into him later though. This game is not a simple remaster and calling it one would be an insult to it and Capcom. A lot of love went into this remake and I think Capcom just put ever other developer on notice with this game. It just oozes quality in both the visuals and gameplay. They knocked it out the park here and if you haven’t brought this game yet you should. Especially if you’re a fan of the horror genre. 

Gameplay:

I think it’s safe to say that Resident Evil is never going back to the old tank controls again. And, honestly, it’s for the better. The over the shoulder camera works perfectly for this game and this is the true return to form that I’ve been waiting for. Resident Evil 7 didn’t do much of anything for me, but I’m in love with this game. I would still rank, from a gameplay perspective, this game below Resident Evil 5, 6, and even Revelations 2. Why? Because you can do more in those games. I can melee attack zombies that get to close after I stun them. Resident Evil 6 may not be much of a Resident Evil game, but it’s one of the best playing third person shooters out there. I understand why this game doesn’t play like the ones I mentioned though. This game is a remake of Resident Evil 2. There was no dodging, rolling, taking cover, and melee attacks back in the 90s Resident Evil games. I do miss all of those features though :). Solving puzzles is a big part of this game and there are a lot of them to solve. They’re not overly difficult and can be completed in a few minutes if you pay attention to your surroundings and examine everything you pick up. I had fun trying to figure out the various different puzzles in this game and I was really surprised when scenario B mixed them up and changed the solutions to every puzzle. That was a nice surprise and made me have to backtrack and find the solutions to them. 

I think the zombies take way too many bullets to drop, but if you’re playing this game to kill every enemy then you’re playing it wrong. Shoot them in the head or leg and run away from them. I rarely stopped to kill enemies in this game and I only did it when it was absolutely necessary for me to solve a puzzle or get some breathing room from Mr. X. Mr. X is a terrifying opponent in this game. He patrols the RPD looking for you and as soon as you make too much noise he’ll head in that direction. You’ll know he’s coming when you hear his heavy footsteps approaching. It’s a terrifying experience, especially if you’re wearing headphones, but it’s a great one too. 

Sounds:

This is another area that Capcom knocked out the park. The way the zombies growl when you approach the sounds so creepy. They screech, yell, growl, and they’re animated beautifully. I’ve never been scared of zombies in a horror game before, but I think I might be a little scared of the ones in this game. When it’s really dark and you shine the light on a zombie while it’s reaching out to grab you it gets me every time. Why? Because their facial expressions and sounds that they make, I game with headphones on by the way, is fucking terrifying. The voice acting is actually really good and the theme that plays while Mr. X is trying to murder me adds tension to an already tension filled game. If you stand next to a window you’ll hear the rain, wind, and all sorts of neat things outside going on while you’re inside. Using your ears is a great way to determine what could be ahead of you or hiding around a corner to ambush you. The sounds here is absolutely excellent. I even liked the end song that played when I unlocked the true ending. 

It’s Filled With Content:

Resident Evil 2 is filled with content. There are the two main scenarios that start with Leon and Claire. Their scenarios may start the same, but they end very differently. Claire has access to areas and items that Leon doesn’t and vice versa. After completing the game with Leon on my first run I unlocked Claire’s B campaign. That campaign is different. It takes place after Leon has already fucked shit up and attracted Mr. X to the place. It’s also shorter and, in my opinion, not as good as the A scenarios, but completing them is the only way to unlock the true ending so I did it. That’s a total of 4 scenarios to play through with Leon and Claire. You unlock a bonus 5th mode called 4th Survivor that has you play as Hunk. If you manage to complete that you’ll unlock another mode that has you playing as Tofu using nothing, but a knife. 

The Good:

Story:

Capcom has embraced Resident Evil’s silliness in this game. There’s only so much you can change about the story before it becomes a completely different game entirely. So… I understand that this game is going to be super cheesy and filled with one liners and you know what? That’s what I love about Resident Evil. We all know not to take the story these games tell too seriously. The story this game tells is basically Leon’s first day at the job and Claire’s investigation into where her brother, Chris, is. I enjoyed it every moment of it and I really, really, really, hope that Capcom decides to remake Code Veronica before part 3. 

The Bad:

This section is mostly just nitpicks because I don’t think this game does anything bad. 

Zombies Are Super Durable:

I don’t remember zombies ever taking this many shots to kill. I mean… I know I’m not supposed to kill all of them and I didn’t, but some times I have to kill them to make things a little easier for myself. Like in the library where the crank puzzle is. It’s pretty much required for you to kill all 3 zombies in that room because if you don’t you’ll really regret it later on when Mr. X is chasing you around the place and you have to push the book cases together to form a walkway to get to the door above. Contrary to what people will tell you zombies don’t always flinch when you shoot them in the head. I’ve shot a zombie in the head 7 times straight and she still bit my ass before catching a left hook from Leon. 

Not Enough Interaction Between Leon and Claire

I can count on one hand how many times Leon and Claire talked to each other face to face. Both of them have a radio on them and it’s never used outside of that one moment when you’re called back to the main hall. It’s a big missed opportunity and I think there should have been more banter between the two. Especially since Claire was obviously flirting with the guy outside the fence when he asked her if she was okay… 

The Verdict

Resident Evil 2 is fantastic. This is a true return to the form for the series and I'm very excited to see what the future has in store for the Resident Evil series. If you're looking for a great survival horror game that ticks all of the boxes, limited ammo, limited saves, creepy surroundings, puzzles, etc look no further than this game. It's in a class of its own and is currently my new favorite Resident Evil game. It's that good and I can't recommend it enough. This is the first time since 2016 that a game has maxed my scoring scale.

10
Final Score:
10

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    mattdoylemedia
    Feb 01, 2019 1:15 pm

    Great review, as always. I’m working on my own review right now, and can hoenstly say that I agree with your rating here. It’s a great entry in the series, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    • Reply
      drakulus
      Feb 03, 2019 12:52 pm

      Thanks! Leave a link to your review when it’s finished and I’ll happily read it :).

      I tried to find things that I didn’t like about the game, but I honestly couldn’t. I think Capcom did an excellent job here and it’s the first game that’s maxed my scale in 3 years.

    • Reply
      mattdoylemedia
      Feb 04, 2019 2:44 am

      It’s so well done on pretty much every level. Honestly, if they want to remake 3 and Code Veronica like this I’ll be happy.

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